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Episode 70

The Keddie Cabin Murders

October 5, 2020   Tags: ,
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Paul and Billy look into the unsolved murders of Sue Sharp, John Sharp, Tina Sharp and Dana Wingate. In April 1981, the small resort town of Keddie, California was changed forever. Someone entered the Sharp home of Cabin 28 with no other purpose but mayhem. Inside the cabin, the offender or offenders killed three people and kidnapped a young girl.

The Sharp Family Before the Murders:
Cabin 28 in Keddie had become home to Sue Sharp and her five children--John, Sheila, Tina, Rick and Greg. She had left her husband John in 1979. He was an active duty Navy man and after moving all over the country, once they hit the east coast the marriage seemed to implode. According to reports, he was abusive towards Sue and may have become inappropriate with his young daughters.

All five of the Sharp children had plans with friends on April 11, 1981. John was with his friend Dana in Quincy for part of the day, planning to go to a party that evening. 

The other four children were split between neighboring cabins during the day. Sheila and Tina went to Cabin 27, where the Seabolt family lived. Rick and Greg were busy in the afternoon playing with Justin, the Smartt family’s son from Cabin 26. 

As the evening was winding down, Justin, Rick and Greg came back to Cabin 28. Sue had agreed to let Justin spend the night with the boys. Then around 9:30--10 o’clock, Tina came home from Cabin 27 to go to bed. Sheila spent the night out. 

Around the same time Tina returned home, her older brother John and his friend Dana were spotted in nearby Quincy trying to hitchhike home.

When Shelia woke up the next morning around 7 AM, she returned home. Before entering the house all seemed normal and quiet: the lights were out and curtains were drawn. But the second she stepped foot in the cabin, normal no longer applied. 

The Murders in Cabin 28:
Tina Sharp was missing from the scene. Rick, Greg and Justin were found unharmed in the back bedroom by a neighbor before law enforcement arrived. 

Plumas County Sheriffs arrived and began to process the scene. As they entered the crime scene, they first encountered the body of 15-year-old John Sharp. His wrist and ankles had been bound with electrical cord and medical tape. His throat was slit. John had been stabbed multiple times and his head was beaten in with what was later determined to be a hammer.

Sue’s body was next to the couch on it’s side. She was nude from the waist down. A blood soaked yellow blanket was covering her body. She had been stabbed multiple times in her chest and throat. Her head was beaten, but not with a hammer. She had been beaten with the butt of a Daisy 880 BB gun. The model was identified by a small piece of the gun that had broken off. 

She had also been bound by electrical cord and medical tape. But the offender or offenders had taken her confinement a step further. Sue was also gagged with a blue bandana and her own underwear. Both items had been shoved far enough in her mouth to then tape her mouth shut. Even though she was nude from the waist down, law enforcement said there was no sign of sexual assault.

There was a third body in the living room. In between Sue and John was John’s friend Dana. He had also been beaten with a hammer like John. He was facedown on a sofa pillow. And just like Sue and John, his wrist and ankles had been bound with electrical cord and medical tape. But unlike the other two victims, Dana’s body showed signs of manual strangulation.

Law enforcement sealed the residence for six days to gather every bit of evidence they could find. The blood on Tina's sheets was the only area outside of the main room of the cabin that seemed to be disturbed. The living room though didn’t just have the murder victims. The walls had been stabbed. 

A hammer and knife were found next to the bodies. A second knife, from the Sharp’s kitchen, was also found. It was a steak knife and it had been used so aggressively the blade was bent backwards. Law enforcement looked for a second hammer, believing, like the with knives, more than one was used. But a second hammer was not located at the scene. There was also a shoe print outside.

Possible Offenders:
Law enforcement currently has six potential living suspects. But one suspect who was looked into was neighbor Marty Smartt. His stepson was the other boy in the bedroom found unharmed with Rick and Greg Sharp. 

Rick and Greg slept through the murders. But Justin seemed to remember something, although he thought it was a dream. Justin was placed under hypnosis to recount the dream. Above is the description of the men he saw enter the home. 

He said one carried a pocketknife in his right hand and he used it to cut Sue’s chest. The same man also had a hammer. 

Justin also said Tina woke up during his dream. He said she went into the living room to see what was happening. That’s when, according to Justin, a man grabbed Tina. He carried her outside and then returned without her. 

It’s unclear if Justin created this dream or actually witnessed the murders. But the sketch of the men from his dream was released.

Tina Sharp's Remains Found:
Then three years after the murders, on April 22nd, 1984, Ronald Pedrini was collecting recyclables in Feather Falls Butte County--over 60 miles from Keddie. He made a gruesome discovery. He discovered a skull accompanied by a child’s blanket, blue jacket, Levi jeans and an empty surgical tape dispenser. He called the police, and law enforcement began to search for the identity of the skull. 

A short time after the discovery, and with no details released to the press, an anonymous caller phoned in a tip. The tip was suggesting the remains and items belonged to 12-year-old Tina Sharp. It was a helpful and correct tip.


ASSIGNMENT:
The case is still very active. But with all of the mishandling of the case--not really looking into viable suspects, storing evidence poorly, not looking at or processing evidence, and on and on--the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office needs everyone and anyone with information about this case to come forward. It’s been 40 years and there is no justice for Dana Wingate and Sue, Tina and John Sharp. Even the smallest detail could help to finally bring this case to a close.  
 
If you have any information on any of this case, please contact us.   

CODE OF CONDUCT: 

1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police. 
2. Do not post side by side photos.
3. Do not contact any family members. 
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.

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